Unlike many bottled drinks that are heated during pasteurization and sometimes hide both synthetic and genetically modified ingredients (as well as a ton of added sugar!), fresh juices are totally raw and you control what goes in them. It’s believed that consuming raw produce boosts digestion by preserving vital enzymes, which means you can beat the bloat and sip your way to more regular bowel movements for a flat, happy tummy!
Whether a regimen calls for two fasting days a week or eating your meals in a smaller "window" of time in the day, all plans share a near-freedom from calorie counting, a big plus for weary food diarists. Once you have planned your fasting-period menu—say, a 500-calorie day of chicken and veggies—you're set. And in your nonfasting periods, you eat normal, healthy meals (even that steak!) without worrying about every bite.
Derived from the Japanese tencha leaf and then stone ground into a bright-green fine powder, matcha literally means “powdered tea,” and it’s incredibly good for you. Research shows the concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in matcha to be 137 times greater than the amount you’ll find in most store-bought green tea. EGCG is a dieter’s best friend: studies have shown the compound can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells) particularly in the belly. One study found men who drank green tea containing 136 mg EGCG—what you’ll find in a single 4 gram serving of matcha—lost twice as much weight than a placebo group (-5.3 vs -2.8 lbs), and four times as much visceral (belly) fat over the course of 3 months. You can prepare the powder as a traditional tea drink as the zen monks have done since 1191 A.D., or enjoy the superfood 2015-style in lattes, iced drinks, milkshakes and smoothies. Need one more reason for tea-time? A single serving sneaks in 4 grams of protein—that’s more than an egg white!
Ashwagandha tea gives you a better outlook on life and reduces stress hormones that can wreak havoc on your waistline. A study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine found that “Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.” When it comes to weight loss, stress is not your friend. A recent study at Penn State found that people who react badly to stressful situations have increased levels of inflammation in their bodies—and inflammation is directly tied to obesity, as well as diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. When anxiety rides high, you’re also at the mercy of stress hormones such as cortisol—known as “the belly fat hormone” for its ability to pull lipids from the bloodstream and store them in our fat cells.
High in good bacteria, the benefits of yoghurt on gastrointestinal health have been said to provide health benefits for certain gastrointestinal conditions, including lactose intolerance, constipation, IBS, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Helicobacter pylori infection, and allergies. Look for the nutrition label and make sure no added sugar is used. Opt for Greek yoghurt varieties and use your own frozen berries and cinnamon to sweeten.
Suprisingly, though, fasting may be a good idea. A recent review by Stephen Anton and colleagues, in the journal Obesity, found that intermittent fasting may come with a variety of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving the ratio of lean tissue to fat, improving cognitive function, preventing type 2 diabetes, and possibly even prolonging life span.
This fermented Chinese tea can literally shrink the size of your fat cells! To discover the brew’s fat-crusading powers Chinese researchers divided rats into five groups and fed them varying diets over a two month period. In addition to a control group, there was a group given a high-fat diet with no tea supplementation and three additional groups that were fed a high-fat diet with varying doses of pu-erh tea extract. The researchers found that the tea significantly lowered triglyceride concentrations (potentially dangerous fat found in the blood) and belly fat in the high-fat diet groups. Although sipping the tea could have slightly different outcomes in humans, we think these findings are promising enough that it’s still well worth your while to fix yourself a steaming hot cup.
This weight-loss tea may be mild tasting, but it sure doesn’t act that way when it comes to your fat. In a study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism in 2009, white tea extract was found to help break down fat cells and prevent accumulation of fatty tissue. The reason? Scientists say it’s the high antioxidant content of the tea, particularly one called ECGC. (Here’s what else you should know about using white tea as a weight-loss tea.)
Here is the most complete detox agent in the world; however, there is one caveat. This one is not necessarily water. Unlike all of the other entries on this list, the last slot is occupied by a bona fide juice. Part of the reason for this listing is the fact that no one can abide by water 100% of the time. If a relapse is going to occur, it better at least be done right. When a fuller drink is needed, connoisseurs always have this magnificent potion on hand. Its smooth texture stems from nectarines, pears, honeydew and carrots. Beneficial agents include carrots, celery, lemon and ginger.
“It definitely revved me up and speeded up my metabolism,” confirms Dr. Shirley. Jamie eventually came to the same conclusion-but first she had a lot of scepticism to overcome. “I’m a realist, so I didn’t believe there was a ‘super-tea’ you could drink with your Krispy Kremes and still lose weight,” says the mom of two, 39. “But a friend who heard me constantly complaining about my weight frustration said, ‘You have to try it. I’ll give you a box.’ I made a big jugful and started drinking it with ice.” To Jamie’s surprise, she dropped from a size 12 to a size 6 in two months-and the shrinking didn’t stop there. “One day, I pulled on a pair of size 6 pants, and I was swimming in them!” she says. “So I got out a box of my ‘pre-mommy’ clothes and pulled on a pair of size 4 jeans. They fit!
It’s no secret that chugging plain H2O can be less than stimulating, but there are fun ways to make this healthy habit less of a chore. Certain fruits have detoxifying properties in their flesh and peels; slice them whole into your water to reap the benefits and hit your water intake quota with an infusion of flavor. For delicious ways to drink up and de-puff, check out our list of 14 Detox Waters that Banish Bloat.
Kava Kava quells worrying thoughts. In one study, 120 mg of kava-kava was administered daily over 6 weeks to patients who had stress-induced insomnia. The results suggested a statistically significant improvement in sleep latency, duration and waking mood. When you’re anxious, your body feels like it’s under a tremendous amount of stress all the time. This is why anxiety is a powerful trigger for weight gain. A recent study in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders placed anxiety as “one of the most important factors significantly associated with weight gain.” In fact, two-thirds of people with eating disorders also suffer from anxiety, and the anxiety usually existed first. But sip with caution—at very high levels, kava kava can cause liver toxicity. Kava Kava should only be one part of an overall, balanced tea cleanse. Click here to find ways to cope with Emotions That Lead to Overeating and Weight Gain.
The 3-Day Detox Diet. Don't have 2-weeks for a full detox? This 3-day detox is my own plan. It's easy, it's simple and there are no fancy foods required. In fact, it follows guidelines developed by the USDA's MyPlate nutritional program. This is the plan that I use when I need to reset my taste buds after a busy party season or a vacation full of indulgent foods.